Every person on this planet has a unique story about his or her path or their journey so far. Expressive writing is all about expressing the self, but the audience is important too. You need to find a hook and a central image to hold your readers. You need to make your experience matter to the audience. In this unit we have analyzed examples of expressive writing that reached out to us with humor, emotion, and deep truths. Now it is your turn to share your story. So . . . tell us about yourself! To do:
1. Select a means of expression for your finished story (choose one):
? An emotional personal narrative (Submit it as a 500 to 750-word essay.).
2. Decide upon a focus, central idea, theme, message, or unifying concept that tells readers about you.
3. Decide upon an organizational pattern for your story (choose one):
? Linear plot development.
? Spiral plot development.
? Parallel plot development.
? Pyramid plot development.
4. Write your story (minimum 500 words).
5. Revise to add description, figurative language, dialogue.
6. Revise for unity.
7. Edit carefully for punctuation, spelling, capitalization, grammar, and usage.
Some ideas to write about:
8. Decide upon a focus, central idea, theme, message, or unifying concept that tells readers about you. Some suggestions for focus:
? Being an only child, a foster kid, a twin, a genius, a joker, an athlete, etc.
? Life on the farm, in a tenement, on the road, in the service, etc.
? Your special talent: cooking, listening, predicting the future, playing accordion, etc.
? An obstacle you’ve overcome: illness, loss, mental health issue, etc.
? A journey you have taken: a physical journey to Bora Bora, a spiritual journey to peace, a mental journey to some goal, etc.
? A unique perspective you have because of your culture, subculture or counterculture.
9. Determine your message – write it down. What part of your experience do you want to give to your readers, and why do you think it is important. For example:
? I want to share my experience as someone who is legally blind, so others will understand that I am a normal kid; I just see without my eyes.
? I want to tell kids about having goals. My whole life changed when I realized that I wanted to be a chef. Now, I know that I will do something important and it gives me something I want others to have too.
? I want to express the feelings of growing up without my father. I think lots of people have this situation and they can relate to the feelings.
10. Choose a central image [a symbol or motif that brings your audience along]:
? Choose an object or image to use as a motif (a repeated image or symbol in a text). The image should be symbolic or representative of your message in some way (a suitcase, an empty chair, a broken mirror).
11. Choose one or more specific events from your life to relate. Think story-beginning-middle-end. Some examples are:
? The time you ran away.
? The first meal you cooked for your family.
? Winning a tough competition.